Fast Focus: 'How would you brand the Tri-Cities?' Remembering Hanford

November 24, 2013 

Your recent editorial (Our Voice, Nov. 17) about this issue points out that "nuclear brings negative reactions from some people." While this is true, we are missing out on the historical interest provided by Hanford. The city of Richland itself could be made into a tourist attraction.

When I first moved here, I was amazed by the "alphabet" homes that were built by the government. I wanted to see the interiors, and I frequently would go to open houses, just for that purpose. I think an area of acreage could be established for viewing these homes, choosing unmodified homes to be moved to the site. These could be decorated in period furniture and could be toured as part of an historical museum effort.

The museum building could have a lot of the stories posted that we see in the newspaper and other publications, including the recent stories and photos that the Herald published about what life was like then, showing the mobs lined up to send telegrams home, the bus stories and personal reflections by people who lived then.

This is a rapidly declining population that should not be forgotten. I sent those stories and photos to my sister in Illinois; she her husband were fascinated by them. History buffs from all over the country would come to learn about this. The fact that the Hanford workers didn't know what they were working on is amazing. Technical facts about the Hanford plant could be on display, too, for scientific purposes. More about Truman's role in the war is another aspect that could be featured.

I could write a lot more about this idea, comparing it to tourist attractions like the Lincoln museum and other Lincoln attractions in Illinois and other less well-known tourist attractions all over the country. I have mentioned this idea to other people through the years, and they all agree it is a great idea.


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